Lakshmi also spelled Laksmi, (Sanskrit: लक्ष्मी lakṣmī, Hindi pronunciation: [ˈləkʃmi]) is the Hindu goddess of wealth, love, prosperity (both material and spiritual), fortune, and the embodiment of beauty. She is the wife and active energy of Vishnu. Her four hands represent the four goals of human life considered proper in Hindu way of life – dharma, kama, artha, and moksha. Representations of Lakshmi are also found in Jain monuments. In Buddhist sects of Tibet, Nepal and southeast Asia, goddess Vasundhara mirrors the characteristics and attributes of Hindu goddess Lakshmi, with minor iconographic differences. Lakshmi is also called Sri or Thirumagal because she is endowed with six auspicious and divine qualities, or Gunas, and also because she is the source of strength even to Vishnu.
- Quotes are arranged alphabetically by author
A - FEdit
- Lakshmi is commonly portrayed as a beautiful woman with four arms, standing on a lotus flower. There is usually one, or sometimes two elephants behind her, anointing her with water. She is often depicted sitting beneath Vishnu.
- One of the most compelling stories in Hindu mythology is that of the Churning of the Milky Ocean. It is the story of the gods versus the demons and their fight to gain immortality. It also tells of the rebirth of Lakshmi... This story highlights the good fortune and success that Lakshmi bestows upon those who work hard and seek help sincerely. It also demonstrates that during times of success, one must never become complacent or arrogant, as success has a way of getting away from people.
- BBC in: "Lakshmi"
- Hindus believe that anybody who worships Lakshmi sincerely, and not in greed, will be blessed with fortune and success. It is said that Lakshmi resides in places of hard work, virtue and bravery, but leaves whenever these qualities are not apparent any more
- BBC in: "Lakshmi"
- In India Hindus will leave the windows and doors of their houses open so that Lakshmi can come in. Rangoli are drawn on the floors - Rangoli are patterns and the most popular subject is the lotus flower.
- The name [Divali] is derived from the Sanskrit term Dipavali meaning “row of lights,” which are lit on the new-moon night to bid the presence of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. In Bengal, however, the goddess Kali is worshiped, and in north India the festival also celebrates the return of Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, and Hanuman to the city of Ayodhya, where Rama’s rule of righteousness would commence.
- Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth, comes of Her own accord where fools are not respected, grain is well stored up, and the husband and wife do not quarrel. The Goddess of wealth is unsteady, and so is the life breath.
- tvam hi durgaa dashapraharanadhaarinee
kamalaa kamala dalabihaarinee
- English translation: For thou art Durga holding her ten weapons of war,
Kamala [Lakshmi] at play in the lotuses
And speech, the goddess, giver of all lore,
to thee I bow!
I bow to thee, goddess of wealth
pure and peerless,
- Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay in: Vande Mataram (1909) by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, translated by Aurobindo Ghose, Wikisource
- It is an extract of the Indian national prayer "Vandemataram"
- 'īśvara' holds the semantic field: master, lord, prince, king, mistress, queen, a husband, God, the Supreme Being, the supreme soul (आत्मन्), Shiva (शिव), the god of love, Durga (दुर्गा), Lakshmi (लक्ष्मी), of any other of the shaktis (शक्तिs) or female energies of the deities, and it is often glossed 'controller' in English.
- Dattareya in: Translation:Avadhuta Gita/Chapter 1/1:1 semantic field, Wikisourcce
G - LEdit
- He [God] is a magician. He simply puts the seed in his imagination –which is Prakriti, Lakshmi or Mother Goddess of the world and the universe comes into existence.
- O Devi [Lakshmi], whose heart is full of mercy, who is worshipped throughout the three worlds and who is the giver of all fortune and the mother of Creation. All glories to You, o shelter of all living entities. O fulfiller of all desires, You are the wonderful energy of Lord Achyuta [Vishnu], who is maintaining the three worlds. You are the Supreme Goddess. O protector of the devotees, all glories to You. O Devi, it is You who fulfills the desires of the devotees, and it is You who engages them in the service of Lord Achyuta. You are eternal and deliverer of all fallen souls. All glories unto You. O Devi, for the welfare and protection of the three worlds, You take on many forms such as Ambika, Brahmi, Vaishnavi, Maheshwari, Varahi Maha-Lakshmi, Narasimhi, Indri, Kumari, Chandika, Lakshmi, Savitri, Chandrakala, Rohini and Parameshwari. All glories unto You, whose glories are unlimited. Kindly be merciful upon me.
- Ganesha is frequently depicted with Saraswati, the Goddess of learning and music, and Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth and prosperity. Since Ganesha is associated with similar attributes as the goddesses, many devotees believe that they are his wives in previous incarnations. This assumption is reinforced by their worship along with Ganesha, especially during Diwali. But no myths support this notion. The deities are worshiped together simply because they represent similar goals.
- Royina Grewal in:The Book of Ganesha, Penguin Books India, 2009, p. 64
- The scriptures reveal that Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva are all maya of Ma Lakshmi. Ma Lakshmi has many forms, names and dimensions. The Shri Ma Vaibhava Lakshmi Vrata is related to eight dimensions [Ashta Lakshmi]:
1) Gaja Lakshmi - Giver of animal wealth like cattle and elephants (gaja);
2) Dhanya Lakshmi - Giver of agricultural wealth;
3)Aishwarya Lakshmi - Goddess of riches;
4)Adhi Lakshmi – Goddess of spiritual contentedness;
5)Vijay Lakshmi – Goddess of victory, not only in battle, but also over conquering hurdles in order to beget success;
6)Dhana Lakshmi – Goddess of money and gold;
7) Veer Lakshmi – Goddess of valor, not only in battle, but also providing courage and strength to overcome difficulties in life;
8)Santana Lakshmi - Goddess of family, bestows followers with children.
M - REdit
- Sri Suktam:
Hiranya varnam harinim
Chandhram hiranmayim lakshmim
jathavedho ma avaha
Tham ma avaha jathavedho
Yasyam hiranyam vindheyam
- English translation:Oh God of Fire, invoke for you, the Goddess Lakshmi who shines like gold, yellow in colour, wearing gold and silver garlands, radiating like the moon, the embodiment of wealth. Oh God of Fire! Invoke for me the unfailing Lakshmi, blessed by whom, I shall have wealth, cattle, horses and men.
- Lotus-maiden [Lakshmi], you who claim
All the sweetness of your name,
Lakshmi, fortune's queen, defend you,
Lotus-born like you, and send you
Balmy moons of love to bless you,
Gentle joy-winds to caress you.
Lotus-maiden, may you be
Fragrant of all ecstasy.
- Sarojini Naidu in: The Golden Threshold by Sarojini Naidu To my Children, Wikisource
- ...Purusha was personified as Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva while Prakriti was personified as Saraswati, Lakshmi and Shakti.
- भद्रैषां लक्ष्मीर्निहिताधि वाचि}}
bhadraiṣāṁ lakṣmīrnihitādhi vāci}}
"An auspicious fortune is attached to their words."
- Rig Veda, x.71.2, Translated by John Muir
S - ZEdit
- Kural-179 [Hymn-1790]:
Good fortune draws anigh in helpful time of need,
To him who, schooled in virtue, guards his soul from greed.
Lakshmi, knowing the manner (in which she may approach) will immediately come to those wise
men who, knowing that it is virtue, covet not the property of others.
- The crowd that thronged Ayodhyá wept,
With agonizing woe distressed.
With him in hermít's mantle dressed
In guise of Sítá Lakshmí went,
And none his glory may prevent.
- First Diwali day called Dhanteras or wealth worship. We perform Laskshmi-Puja in evening when clay diyas lighted to drive away shadows of evil spirits.In Diwali, goddess Lakshmi visits all people. Cows are worshipped for they are incarnations of Goddess Lakshmi.
- Zak Vera in: Invisible River, AuthorHouse, 1 February 2010, p. 179
- Every woman is an emanation of you.
- Sri Daivakrta Laksmi Stotram as quoted by in Constantina Rhodes (2011), Invoking Lakshmi: The Goddess of Wealth in Song and Ceremony, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-1438433202
- Every woman is an embodiment of you.
You exist as little girls in their childhood,
As young women in their youth
And as elderly women in their old age.
- Sri Kamala Stotram as quoted in ibid.
- The grace of both Lakshmi (goddess of fortune) and Sarasvati (goddess of learning) now shines on the peoples of the Western countries. They do not stop at the mere acquisition of the objects of enjoyment, but in all their actions they seek for a sort of beauty and grace.
Encyclopaedia of Hindu Gods and GoddessesEdit
Suresh Chandra in: Encyclopaedia of Hindu Gods and Goddesses, Sarup & Sons, 1998
- During [Durga Puja]...very frequently, small images of Lakshmi, Saraswati, Kartikeya and Ganesha are also placed by the side of the goddess [Durga]. At the close of the festival, these images are immersed into the river.
- In: p. 83
- Consorts of all these gods [Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva], are known as goddesses. They are Saraswati — wife of Brahma as well as Goddess of Knowledge, Lakshmi — wife of Vishnu as well as Goddess of Prosperity, Parvati — wife of Shiva as well as Goddess of Power.
- In: p. 106
- Deepavali is also considered a festival to worship Goddess Lakshmi, the consort of Lord Vishnu and Goddess of Wealth. A special Goddess Lakshmi pooja is performed in most Hindu homes during this festival. During Deepavali people visit friends and exchange sweets.
- In: p. 125
- In the Rigveda [Chapter X, hymn 129) the first enunciation in world’s literature is made of the idea that the Creator willed to create the universe through the idea that the creator willed to create the universe through the agency of a female principle. This idea was expressed in the supposed marriage of heaven and earth and the Sankhya philosophy’s union of Purusha and Prakriti. It gathered so great a strength that later on every principal deity of Hindu mythology had his own female companion, who shares the worship paid to male god, e.g., Sita and Rama, Parvati and Shiva, Radha and Krishna, Lakshmi and Vishnu.
- In: p. 127-28
- [Lakshmi] a, major Hindu goddess who originated perhaps as a mother goddess but who now represents wealth, prosperity and epitomizes the later Hindu (Brahmanical) notion of the active female principle of Shakti in a male deity. According to the Ramayan, she arose from the primal Hindu sea of milk. Identified Lakshmi as the consort of Vishnu.
- In: p. 196
- Sometimes this Goddess [Lakshmi] is shown as being one with the Lord Vishnu, when then is called Lakshmi Narayan. This conjoined deity denotes that in his supreme state Vishnu is one with his consort, who represents his power and energy.
- In: p. 200
- His [Vishnu's] wife is Lakshmi or Sri, the goddess of wealth and fortune. His place of abode is Vaikuntha (heaven) and his vehicle is Caruda, a giant-sized eagle which often is "shown as a winged human-shaped figure having a break-like nose. Vishnu is the infinite ocean from which the world emerges.
- In: p. 367
Hindu Goddesses: Visions of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Religious TraditionEdit
David Kinsley in: Hindu Goddesses: Visions of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Religious Tradition, Motilal Banarsidass Publ., 1 January 1998
- Laksmi expresses Hindu thinking about kingship and the relationship of the ruler to the fertility of the world. The many goddesses associated with geographical features of the Indian subcontinent suggest Hindu thinking about the relationship between sacred space and spiritual liberation.
- In: p. 4
- The goddess Sri, who is also commonly known by the name Laksmi, has been known in the Hindu tradition since pre-Buddhist times. She is one of the most popular goddesses in the Hindu pantheon. She has a considerable body of mythology and worshipped by Hindus of all castes throughout India to this day.
- In: p. 19
- The most detailed picture of Sri-Laksmi in Vedic literature is found in the Sri-sukta, a hymn in praise of Sri which is part of an appendix to the Rigveda and which is probably pre-Buddhist in date. This is surely one of the earliest hymns to Sri.
- In: p. 20
- One of the most popular and enduring representations of Sri-Laksmi shows her flanked by two elephants in the so-called Gaja-Laksmi images. The elephants shower her with water from their trunks or empty pots of water over her.
- In: p. 22
- As Vishnu's wife, Laksmi loses her fickle nature. As the great cosmic king's queen she is depicted as a model Hindu wife, loyal and submissive to her husband. One of her most popular iconographic depictions shows her kneeling before Vishnu to massage his feet. In her early history Sri-Lakshmi was strongly associated with growth and fecundity as manifested in vegetation. A teeming vitality animated her presence, a power that gave birth inexhaustibly to life.
- In: p. 28
- In Pancaratra school Laksmi comes to play the central role in the creation and evolution of the universe as the shakti of Vishnu. In the Pancaratra creation scenario Vishnu remains almost entirely inactive, relegating the creative process to Laksmi. After awakening Laksmi at the end of the night of dissolution, Vishnu’s role in the creation of the universe is restricted to that of inactive architect whose plan put into effect by a builder. Lakshmi alone acts, and the impression throughout the cosmogony is that she acts independently of Vishnu, although it is stated that she acts according to his wishes.
- In: p. 30
- Sri-Laksmi is today one of the most popular and widely venerated deities of the Hindu pantheon. Her auspicious nature and her reputation for granting fertility, luck, wealth, and well-being seem to attract devotion in every Indian village. All of India’s back country is the dominion of Lakshmi, the goddess of the lotus...she accompanies every mile traveled through central India, every visit to a temple...Her likenesses are omnipresent on the walls, pillars, lintels and niches of sanctuaries, regardless of the deity of their specific dedication.
- In: p. 32
- Laksmi is worshiped throughout the year in a variety of festivals, and she is the constant object of vratas, "religious vows," by means of which devotees ask her for a blessing in return for undertaking some act of devotion or piety on her behalf.
- In: p. 33
- Finally, in Saiva Siddhanta, a southern school of Saivism, Parvati sometimes takes on the role of Shiva's embodied grace and thus comes to play a role somewhat similar to Sri-Laksmi's role in Sri Vaisnavism.
- In: p. 36
- Saraswati is also said to have had her origin from the god Vishnu... Her association with Vishnu makes her the co-wife of Laksmi in many myths. In this relationship Saraswati for the most part represents spiritual, ascetic, or religious goals and values, whereas Laksmi represents worldly well-being as manifest in wealth, material power, and fertility.
- In: p. 58
- The divinity of Rama and Sita is not stressed in the early Ramayana of Valmiki (written sometime between 200 BC and 200 AD), but they increasingly become identified as manifestations of the god Vishnu and his consort Sri-Laksmi in later texts.
- In: p. 65
- She [Sita] is not mentioned very often and is overshadowed by much more popular goddesses associated with fertility, such as Sri-Laksmi. Nevertheless, Sita does seem to be part of a fundamental intuition concerning the fertility of the plowed earth and necessity of a male power to awaken, arouse and inseminate her.
- In: p. 66
- Central among these are the nectar of immortality and the goddess Sri-Laksmi. Sri represents good luck, well-being, abundance, and fertility and is well known as dwelling wherever a righteous king reigns. She is sovereignty personified, and where she dwells there always exist wealth and abundance of all good things.
- In: p. 68
- When Bhudevi complains that she is being oppressed by a certain demon, Vishnu, attentive to the welfare of the earth, assumes the appropriate form and recuses the earth from her predicament. Iconographically it is common to see Vishnu flanked by Sri-Lakshmi on one side and Bhudevi on the other.
- In: p. 179
Images of Indian Goddesses: Myths, Meanings, and ModelsEdit
Madhu Bazaz Wangu in: Images of Indian Goddesses: Myths, Meanings, and Models, Abhinav Publications, 1 January 2003
- Vedic culture, which developed into an agricultural and pastoral society, revered both the earth and cattle. More importantly, significant agricultural goddesses such as Gaja-Lakshmi emerged. In Epic literature attempts were made to consolidate couples (Mithuna) and give single females and males individual personalities.
- In: p. 29
- The features of Sri Lakshmi expanded from the notion of fertility of the earth. Several variations of her name are Lakshmi, Gaja-Lakshmi and Sri Lakshmi. The term Sri is used to refer to the splendour and power of a king or raja. Sri is his splendour and dominion. She is associated with qualities such as power, capability, high rank and glory. In the hymn of Purusha Sukta, a supplement to the Rig Veda, Sri is portrayed as a bright, beautiful and embellished goddess. Furthermore the hymn identifies Sri and Lakshmi as one and the same goddess.
- In: p. 36
- In other hymns she is considered the luck and light in men and splendid energy in women. She is firm, motionless, and wide. She is the one who gives nourishment, wealth and love. She is asked to pour milk as a mother does for a son. Her breasts are full of nectar which gives long life, and she is praised as the nourisher of all creatures wicked and good, demonic and divine.
- In: p. 36
- ...the hymn identifies Sri and Lakshmi as one and the same goddess. Prior to this text a clear distinction was made between the two goddesses.
- In: p. 36
- Yakshini images include Salabhanjika (Yakshini on a Sala tree), Vrikshadevata (Tree as female deity) and Gaja-Lakshmi (goddess of wealth). These are vegetative or progenitive spirits directly controlling and bestowing fertility and wealth,or simply abundance.
- In: p. 39
- The goddess of abundance and fortune, Sri Lakshmi, reflected the accumulated wealth and financial independence of the Buddhist monasteries. Her image became one of the popular visual themes carved on their monuments.
- In: p. 57
- Each single deity such as Shiva, Parvati, Vishnu, SriLakshmi and others is considered personal and the highest god by individual Hindu worshippers. This particular religious perspective resulted in a popular movement in which fervent devotion was offered to the deity of one’s choice.
- In: p. 61
- Lakshmi is believed to have emerged from the ocean at the time of its churning by gods on one side and demons on the other. The figure of Mahalakshmi, however, is austere and solemn. All the figures surrounding her, as if magnetized, move towards her. She is the nucleus of the whole composition.
- In: p. 89
- ... there are three varieties of Lakshmi images: those symbolic of agricultural abundance and the king's treasury, as the divine wife who tenderly massages her husband's foot, and as a Yogini rooted in the waters of the ocean.
- In: p. 91
- The Nilmata Purana states that the goddesses Lakshmi and Uma manifested themselves in the valley as the rivers Jhelum (locally known as Vitasta) and Sindhu, to purify the land. The sources of water are considered sacred by the Kashmiris.
- In: p. 136
Invoking Lakshmi: The Goddess of Wealth in Song and CeremonyEdit
Constantina Rhodes in: Invoking Lakshmi: The Goddess of Wealth in Song and Ceremony, SUNY Press, 29 September 2010
- All Women Are Embodiments of Lakshmi Whether exhibiting steadfastness or restlessness, nurturing, independence, or any other embodiment or mode of expression. Lakshmi always retains her core essence as the divine feminine.
- In: p. 26
- Every one of her forms is specifically female – most distinctly as Radha, Sita and Rukmini who are consorts of various forms of Vishnu. She is prithvi the divine feminine embodied as mother earth... the gods proclaim: You exist as little girls in their childhood, As young women in their youth, And as elderly women in their old age.
- In: p. 26
- Through her expression of kåma, Laksmi becomes Rådhå, the beloved of Krishna, whom she meets for secret love-play in the enchanted Vrinda forest. In "The Heavenly Gods' Praise-Song for Laksmi" (Sri Daivakarta Laksmi Stotram), the celestial ones celebrate Laksmi in her glorious display of such forms:
You are the goddess more dear to Krishna
Than life itself,
His own Radhika
Deep in the forest
Deep in the Vrnda forest,
You are mistress of mesmerizing rasa dance
In the bows of the sacred bhandira tree,
You are Krishna’s desire.
In the sandalwood forest you are Candra,
In the grove of yellow jasmine you are Viraja,
On the hundred-peaked mountain you are the lovely Sundari.
- In: p. 32-33
- The useful, life-giving currents of gold, of water, of fructifying rains, and indeed of any form of energy are all variations on the same image of Lakshmi's bestowal of prosperity. In some images, elephants lustrate the goddess with streams of water, increasing the magnitude of bounty and also illustrating an important point – that the goddess of plenty herself enjoys replenishment.
- In: p. 33
- Prasanna Vadana Sri Laksmi stotram (Prasanna Vadana hymn):
Consumed by dire poverty
I am breathless with anxiety and fever.
In this impossibly painful state,
I am driven to your side,
O Lakski, Ocean of Compassion,
And guide me to a state of propensity.
- In: p. 36
- This [.sattva i.e dynamic equipoise.] is Laksmi’s fullness and life-energy, and it expresses what the Greek philosophers put forth: truth is beauty and beauty is truth. Laksmi dwells in expansion and reception: in the fullness of giving and receiving of gifts, nourishment, and pleasure in the commercial exchange of goods and services, and in the ritual exchange of offerings and boons.
- In: p. 36
- Alakshmi, Lakshmi's elder sister